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Water flowing directly down Hanging Lake Trail prompts closure

Reservations through June 2 are being canceled and refunded, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — Spring run-off that's flowing directly down parts of Hanging Lake Trail has forced officials to close the popular trail near Glenwood Springs.

“The amount of water coming down the trail in many spots is really impressive,” said Eagle-Holy Cross District Ranger Leanne Veldhuis. “There is currently no good way around the water, so we have closed the trail until the run-off lessens or our trail crew can mitigate it. We’re evaluating the situation daily.”

The Forest Service closed the trail Sunday and hopes conditions will allow them to reopen on June 3. Reservations are required to hike the trail and at this time all reservations through June 2 are being canceled and refunded, according to the agency.

Credit: US Forest Service

Last week the White River National Forest announced planned improvements to the Hanging Lake Trail to better accommodate high water and debris flows, including reengineering six of the trail’s seven bridges and relocating two bridges to crossing locations that provide better stream clearance. That work will begin this fall. 

The trail and associated bridges suffered significant damage following the 2021 debris flows in Glenwood Canyon following a wildfire in the area. While a temporary trail was opened in 2022, more extensive repairs are needed for long-term sustainability.

Credit: US Forest Service

Earlier this month a mudslide and running water blocked access to the Hanging Lake Trailhead for two weeks. 

The latest information about the trail will be posted at www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver

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